Ceylon or my first visit to Asia

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When somebody asks me what I remembered most from my vacation, I say that definitely elephants and sunsets! But these were not the only things that captivated me in Ceylon.

During this trip, I really understood why people say, “This strange Asia!” Sometimes I thought that perhaps all these people with such unusual for us way of thinking and view of everyday things are indeed from another planet :)? However, let’s go back to my story about Sri Lanka.

Crazy roads and market all over. That’s how I can describe this beautiful island in terms of infrastructure. I was warned about the roads – to not even try to drive the car by myself. They said, “You just can’t imagine or understand!” Now I understand and imagine :)!

Even though a local citizen always drove the car, I was shocked at first! How could they drive like that?! What kind of rules are these? Or rather the lack of those! Almost all the roads have only one line for each side. However, it doesn’t prevent Sri Lankans to overtake other vehicles, even if there is a bus ahead :). That’s why some drivers might need to pull over and wait until the line is clear. So these are the traffic “rules” of Sri Lanka. Furthermore, wins the one who is bigger :)! It’s also worth noting that one of the most popular means of transportation on the Island are tuk-tuks (auto rockshaws).

My second and this time more pleasant revelation were the citizens. I was impressed by their kindness and hospitality. For example, it is absolutely normal for them to invite and show their homes to people whom they have just met.

The climate of Sri Lanka is very warm and damp. There can be rainy seasons, which differ from the usual weather only by bigger amount of precipitation. The temperature in different time of the year varies at most by 5 degrees Celsius. The flora and the fauna there are diverse and made a very good impression on me. At the balcony of our hotel room, we could even share some food with a musang and a chipmunk :). There are many shelters and nurseries for elephants and turtles, as well as safari tours. You can be offered, for example, to feed, wash and ride an elephants, or hold and look at small turtles.

In general, the island of Ceylon has many interesting and impressive places to see. You should visit it not just to relish in the sun. It’s also worth going to a tea plantation or manufactory, where you can taste delicious tea. You might visit a pineapple farm, where the owners will tell you about it and show their lands with pleasure. And what a nice sight the Buddhist temples are! Therefore, it’s important not just to stay at one place, but try to see as much as possible.

Of course, I should also tell you about the other side of Sri Lanka. It is a poor country where indigent citizens may ask white people for money. It’s also a land where the level of sanitation is low, that’s why you should be careful and follow the main hygiene rules. Nevertheless, these things shouldn’t darken your impression of this wonderful island, its nature and, as I already mentioned, beautiful sunsets!

So I hope that my narration and pictures will inspire you for a trip to Ceylon during one of your future vacations :).

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A Buddhist Temple

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Variability of weather

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Feeding elephants

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Incredible sunsets

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A road and tuk-tuks

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Buddha watching at the ocean

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The city and fort of Galle

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Galle International Cricket Ground

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A Hindu Temple

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Children coming from school

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Parts of old English trains

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Royal Botanical Garden

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A typical city in Ceylon

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The Bodhi Tree

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Written by: Yuliya Prokopenko
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